In a U-turn, Toyota says it will accelerate its transition to electric vehicles

In a U-turn, Toyota says it will accelerate its transition to electric vehicles

Toyota Motor Corporation, the last holdout among the world’s leading automakers when it came to electric vehicles, declared itself a believer, saying it will produce 3.5 million EVs per year by 2030. Toyota stated that all Lexus models in the United States, China, and Europe would be electric by 2030. It also displayed over a dozen of the 30 electric vehicles it plans to sell by that year.

Nonetheless, it warned that the majority of its customers, particularly those outside of the United States’ coasts, were not ready for a battery-powered automobile now and may not even be for some time. Toyota declared an aim of selling about two million electrified vehicles by 2030 just 7 months ago, in May. It nearly doubled that goal, noting the November climate meeting in Glasgow, Scotland, as well as the Biden administration’s executive order to boost electric vehicle sales.

After seeing the summit, Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, remarked at a press conference that the business felt obligated to reassess its plans to attain carbon neutrality. “Each country made their declarations and laid out their energy programs,” he explained. Until lately, Mr. Toyoda had made a name for himself by making cautious comments regarding electric vehicles. He questioned whether buyers would want to purchase a battery-propelled car and suggested that EVs would not be as environmentally friendly as Toyota’s gas-electric hybrid vehicles, given majority of the world’s electricity is derived from fossil fuels.

In December 2020, Mr. Toyoda warned that a fast shift to electric vehicles might devastate the network of providers for traditional gasoline-fuelled vehicles, a situation in which “the existing business model of the automotive industry will collapse.”

Mr. Toyoda commended electric vehicles for being enjoyable to drive, and he displayed a video of himself chuckling as he accelerated in a Lexus EV under development. “This is a different world!” In the video, he said, “Wheeee!” “The effectiveness of the electric motor is considerably beyond that of a gasoline car,” he remarked during the press conference.

The business announced that it would increase expenditure on battery research and manufacture to 2 trillion yen, an equivalent of $17.6 billion, up from a previous goal of 1.5 trillion trillion yen ($1.5 billion). North Carolina is planning to build a battery facility. Over the next decade, the corporation plans to spend up to $35 billion on the electric vehicles, according to the company.

“We’re not promising that we’ll use it all.” “This shows that we are prepared,” said Masahiko Maeda, the company’s technology leader. Lexus plans to be an all-electric brand by 2035, with vehicles such as sports cars that can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in two seconds.

Nonetheless, Toyota’s transition to electric vehicles is slower than some of its competitors. Mr. Toyoda explained that this was attributable to a shortage of charging infrastructure and power in many of the nations where Toyota sells automobiles. In the fiscal year ending March 31, Toyota sold 9.9 million total retail vehicles, implying that the 3.5 million EV goal for 2030 would represent about one-third of global sales, provided the overall total remains constant.

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